Geoff Goodman, the Lead Hero Designer of Overwatch, leaves Blizzard ahead of Overwatch 2’s launch. Goodman contributed to the creation of several beloved heroes, such as Moira and Doomfist, as well as the upcoming Sojourn and Junker Queen. Neither Goodman nor Blizzard revealed the reasons behind his departure less than two weeks before the release of Overwatch 2.
Goodman has been working on Overwatch even before the game got its official title. Back when Overwatch was still known as Project Titan, Goodman was already part of the team working on what would become Blizzard’s popular FPS. He regularly appeared to update players about the latest hero changes, just like Overwatch’s former director Jeff Kaplan. Goodman also regularly posted on the official Overwatch Reddit to explain the hero balance and gather players’ feedback.
Geoff Goodman is the latest member of the Overwatch team to leave Blizzard. In April 2021, Game Director Jeff Kaplan left the company. If Aaron Keller replaced him at the head of Overwatch, it left fans across the world sad about losing their “Papa Jeff.” Executive Producer Chacko Sonny also left the company in 2021, and producer Tracy Kennedy parted ways with Blizzard last September. It is now time for Goodman to leave the ship. No reason was given as to why Goodman decided to leave Blizzard.
If the release of Overwatch 2 is probably not the reason behind those departures, the overall atmosphere at Blizzard might have played a role in these decisions. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Blizzard in 2021 for workplace harassment and discrimination, stating the company had a “frat boy” culture. Several Blizzard key managers were accused of sexual harassment, even leading one of their female coworkers to commit suicide while on a company trip when nude pictures of her circulated during a company party.
After these scandals settled down, Goodman opened up about the ambiance at Blizzard. He said that the team made sure everyone felt “safe” and was in a “good spot.” Goodman added that “everyone [is], much happier now and things are going forward. But I think it’s still there and still lingers. It’s definitely a morale hit.”
Goodman’s departure won’t most likely impact Overwatch 2 – at least, in the short term. However, he was the one behind the main hero designs and their balance, guaranteeing cohesion in Overwatch’s giant hero roster.
According to Blizzard, Goodman took the decision to leave the company earlier this year. He still stayed for months after this decision to help the team shape the future of Overwatch and ensure a smooth transition after his departure.
As Goodman leaves the Overwatch team, someone else will have to take his place. Blizzard hasn’t announced yet who will be responsible for the hero designs going forward.
Overwatch 2 will release on October 4, 2022. The game will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. The game supports crossplay, so you can play with your friends no matter which console you prefer.